Monday, September 18, 2006

Another Reason to Go Organic

You've heard the news: Ecoli found in Spinach is killing people...or, at the very least, giving a few people a bad case of diarrhea.

In the last 24 hours I've witnessed wide spread panic in the food service industry. Last night, I ordered an Italian chop salad and was advised that spinach containing dishes would not be served. It took me about 5 minutes to convince the waitress that the Italian chop contains arugula, radiccio, and romaine lettuce (rather than spinach). This morning, I went to a breakfast meeting and was greeted at the door of a local egg cafe with a sign that read: "In response to the ecoli warning, we will not be serving spinach in this restaurant".

In all honesty, I never really considered spinach to be such a staple of fine dining.

Prior to going to the breakfast meeting, I was pleased to wake up and hear on NPR that Organic Spinach is not likely to be affected by this bacteria. From All Things Considered:

All Things Considered, September 18, 2006 · The California produce company that's been linked to a widening nationwide E. coli outbreak is at odds with the Food and Drug Administration over what's causing the illness. Natural Selection Foods said Monday that its organic spinach has been cleared as the source of outbreak. But government health inspectors disputed the company's claim and said nothing has been ruled out. I recommend tapping the link and learning all about the ins and outs of ecoli and spinach.

I'm not an alarmist by nature. I happen to have a recycled plastic container filled with triple washed organic spinach in my fridge right now. I also happened to eat a chopped tomato, cucumber, garlic and balsamic vinaigrette salad decorated with a chiffonade of organic spinach with my dinner tonight. 3 hours later and I'm still doing fine.

No hang gliding, high speed motorcycle riding, or repelling necessary to validate my zest for life. I'll just whip up a mushroom, spinach and jarlsberg omelet in the morning. But, just to be safe, I'll wear a helmet and "Go Organic".

NB, Since publishing this article there have been several deaths linked to the ecoli bacteria. I deeply regret making light of this situation and extend an apology to anyone reading this after these deaths occured.

“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".


  1. Actually, since Organic food is generally fertilized with manure, it's just as likely to be contaminated with E coli as big farm food; big farm food just makes a bigger splash because it's more widely distributed. This is an excellent case for the irradiation of food, which would kill off harmful bacteria, but doesn't make food radioactive.

    However, both pale in comparison to the number of food poisoning incidents which happen in the home--we're all far more likely to pick up germs from our own counters than from any particular farm practice.

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